Whiteness Under Peril
Do you notice your teeth are no longer as white as they used to be? You may not have any idea that the food and drinks you enjoy are the ones responsible for the discoloration. There are many common foods and everyday habits that might be secretly staining your teeth. Let us look at some of the worst ones.
Foods and Drinks that May Stain Teeth
Coffee. This favorite beverage contains tannins, responsible for yellowish coloration of teeth. Tannin is the browning substance used in tanning leather and making ink. Coffee is also acidic and can change the pH in your mouth that can weaken enamel.
Black tea. More than coffee, black tea can stain teeth. This beverage can actually cause more tooth staining than a cup of coffee. While coffee may have a darker hue than black tea, the latter has naturally occurring tannins and processes, such as oxidation, that can potentially leave stained or splotchy teeth.
Tomato sauce. Due to its highly pigmented color and high acidity, tomato sauce is highly staining. Acidic foods can weaken the tooth enamel layer, turning it more porous. Occasional indulgence may not be harmful but daily consumption can lead to some tooth discoloration. Taking sips of water between bites can prevent the sauce from lingering too long on your teeth.
Balsamic vinegar. This condiment is intensely flavorful, made from concentrated grape must and is highly acid. It is a source of stains due to its sticky consistency and dark pigments.
Beetroots. They are healthy and delicious additions to a salad or roasted vegetable meal, but they can stain your hands and chopping board. Deeply colored, they can affect the whiteness of teeth.
Curry. This Indian spice has deep pigmentation can yellow teeth over time. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables along with any curry dish keep the curry from sitting too long on teeth.
Berries. The deep hue in blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries, in particular, can cause staining, regardless of whether they are eaten whole, drunk as juice or processed as jelly and jam. Don’t let the berries sit in your mouth for too long and hard cheese or milk afterwards, to neutralize acids.
Wine. Wines soften enamel which makes it susceptible to staining. Red wine with its dark, rich color and acidity will discolor teeth. But white wine is more acidic and can soften enamel and make it more susceptible to staining.
In like manner, the following are also capable of teeth discoloration: sodas, sports drinks, fruit juices, hard candy and colored, frozen treats.